Nothing Coming Easy - Part III

January 2939

Osiris System

A firm punch to the head awoke Gedion from his slumber. Shaking off its effects, he opened his eyes to survey the room he was in. His head rang from the blow he had just received, but his eyes began to come into focus. The walls of the room were a dull grey metallic color, almost completely covered in rust. The floor was a metal grate, and he could see people milling about below. He sat on a chair in the middle of the room, his hands restrained behind his back. Two men stood in front of him. One was rubbing his knuckles, as if warming up.

Before he could open his mouth to speak, another punch landed right on his left temple, blurring his vision again. Gedion shut his eyes and winced in pain.

One of the two men chuckled.

"Go easy on him Sted, no one is going to pay no ransom if he's brain-dead," the man jokingly admonished the other.

"Oh, sure thing boss," the other replied. Gedion heard the man take a step forward, a prelude to a sucker punch right in his gut. He gasped as his wind left him.

The two men laughed again as Gedion struggled to un-collapse his diaphragm.

"Wha.. wha... what do you want from me?" Gedion managed to choke out.

"What do we want? He wants to know what we want Sted! How ungrateful!" the man said, sounding smug.

"Yeah, how ungrateful!" Sted oafishly repeated. It was becoming pretty clear who was the brains, and who was the muscle. "Can I hit him again, Tolar?"

Tolar nodded as Sted unleashed a vicious right hook, connecting squarely with Gedion's chin. He added another gut punch for good measure.

"You'd think he'd be more grateful, after we caught him trying to salvage a ship on our turf. We could have left him stranded out in space to die. But out of the kindness of our hearts, we rescued him." Tolar sarcastically said to Sted.

"Pirates..." Gedion muttered under his breath. They must have found him passed out in his chunk of alien ship cockpit and picked him up. "Where... where's my ship!" Gedion piped up.

"Oh, that piece of junk? We're tearing it down for scrap. Nothing useful there, consider it a down payment on your bill for us rescuing you," Tolar replied.

Gedion grit his teeth and squeezed his hands into fists so tightly that his knuckled turned white. He was sure it was a Kr'Thak ship. All that he could have studied, and that he could have learned, it was all gone now.

"Bastards..." Gedion choked out between his clenched teeth.

At that, Sted rained down a series of blows on Gedion's head, rendering him unconscious again.

...some time later...

Gedion groggily awoke at the sensation of being moved. His head pounded and throbbed from the abused he had taken. He struggled against the weight of his eyelids, but couldn't manage to pry them open. Straining, he could hear the voices of men talking, and the clinking of ice cubes in a glass. "Oh no..." Gedion thought to himself as consciousness slipped away from him again.

...shortly after...

The prick of a needle in his arm awoke Gedion. He was lying on his back as a nurse tended to his many injuries.

"There, now get some rest. You'll be sore for a while, but you'll be fine," the nurse advised, then left the room. He could hear her speaking with someone in the hallway. The door opened again and someone stepped in. The person swirled some ice cubes in a glass, took a sip, and cleared their throat.

"What do you want dad?" Gedion wearily broke the silence.

"A son that didn't cause me so much trouble for starters," the man replied, taking another sip. "You know Relen, don't expect me to pay your ransom every time you get captured by pirates."

"I never asked you to help me. I never asked you for anything, I don't want your help," Gedion fired back.

Relen Gedion's father, Stanil Gedion, was a mid-level politician from Terra who loved his career and his drink far more than his only child. He was tall and trim, with short dark brown hair, side parted, with grey creeping in on the sides. He had a face that always looked disapproving, no matter what the circumstances.

"So typical of you. So ungrateful." Stanil replied, taking another sip. "Anyway, we are headed back to Terra. We have a media tour to do, so get your rest now."

Gedion scoffed. "One more notch in your war on piracy eh?" Stanil didn't replied. He simply took another sip and left the room.

Gedion hated being used by his father to advance his now struggling political career. He was convinced that the only reason that Stanil had ever had a son was that politicians with children tended to be more popular than without. As he lay there on the medical bed, Gedion resolved that his father had used him for the last time.

"When we get to Terra, I'll get my hands on a ship, and I'll head as far away as I can. I'm through with Terra. I'm through with him..."